Andrews Raid showed importance of railroads

James J. Andrews walked precisely as he made his way to the locomotive. Few, if any, noticed him or the raiders following close behind.

Andrews, a spy, and 19 other men managed to make their way deep into the heart of the Confederacy and board a northbound train in Marietta. Once stopped in Big Shanty (present day Kennesaw) for a 20-minute breakfast break, Andrews and his men had a devious plan – to steal a locomotive and destroy the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

The day was April 12, 1862 – the one year anniversary of the start of the Civil War. As part of a greater coordinated military effort, Andrews was to raid the railroad while Gen. Ormsby Mitchel moved into Huntsville, Ala., and later into Chattanooga, Tenn. The Western and Atlantic Railroad, connecting Atlanta and Chattanooga, was a vital lifeline for the Confederacy and destroying the road might have led to an earlier conclusion to the War Between the States.

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Todd DeFeo
About Todd DeFeo 236 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.